Month: September 2019

King of kings

Jesus stood in the praetorium after a night of being arrested and questioned by Caiaphas the high priest. Now it was Pilate who asked him, “Are you a king then?” Jesus replied, “You say rightly that I am a king” (John 18:37). And what a King!

He is the King of the Jews. In Matthew, a delegation of Eastern Magi arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is he who has been born King of the Jews?” Near the end of Matthew, a sign is affixed to the cross of Jesus reading, “This is Jesus the King of the Jews.”

He is the King of Israel. In John 1:49, Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”

He is the King of Righteousness. The writer of Hebrews reminds us that Jesus was prefigured by Melchizedek, the mysterious character in the book of Genesis, “to whom Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated ‘King of Righteousness.'”

He is the King of Peace. In the same passage in Hebrews 7, Jesus is compared with Melchizedek in his role as king of Salem, which, according to verse 2, means “King of Peace.”

He is the King Over All the Earth. This title is found near the end of the Old Testament, in the passage in Zechariah describing our Lord’s glorious return. “And the LORD shall be King over all the earth” (Zechariah 14:48-9).

He is the King of Glory. This is another messianic title from the Old Testament. In Psalm 24, King David cries, “Lift up your heads… And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty…he is the King of glory.”

He is King of kings and Lord of lords. In Revelation 19 as Christ returns to earth in triumph, we read: “And he has on his robe and on his thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”

The rulers of this world enjoy limited authority for a limited time—current events in our world today exemplify that truth. Only Jesus possesses infinite authority for all of eternity. Many rulers have improved the quality of life for their subject but only one gives abundant life and eternal life.

Except for him, all leaders, being human, are flawed. Many have unleashed wars, triggered riots, annihilated opponents, bankrupted treasuries and acted as fools.

Others have exhibited great courage and demonstrated legendary leadership.

But only one belongs to eternity. He’s the King of an endless empire. Jesus rules above the stars and within the heart.

He is Lord of heaven and earth. As the New Testament opens, he is coming from heaven to earth as a baby, as the King of the Jews. As the New Testament ends, he’s coming on a white charger as the King of kings.

The Emperor Napoleon is said to have made this assessment of Christ: “Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and myself have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force! Jesus Christ alone founded His empire upon love: and at this hour millions of men would die for him. I have so inspired multitudes that they would die for me; but, after all, my presence was necessary—the lighting of my eye, my voice, a word from me—then the sacred fire was kindled in their hearts. Now that I am at St. Helena, alone, chained upon this rock, who fights and wins empires for me? What an abyss between my deep misery and the eternal reign of Christ who is proclaimed, loved, adored and whose reign is extending over all the earth.”

Inside our hearts there is a throne, and around that throne are all the components that make up our lives—finances, jobs, marriage, children, home, hobbies, habits, leisure, church, entertainment, health. When Jesus sits as King on the throne of our hearts, all these areas fall into submission under his authority. In the process, he blesses all that he reigns over. He brings peace, joy and everlasting hope. He elicits worship, praise and never-ending thanksgiving.

“My King…had no predecessor and he’ll have no successor. There’s nobody before him and there’ll be nobody after him” (S.M. Lockridge).

That’s our King of kings; that’s our Lord of lords.

“We can’t fix this on our own. Jesus is our only hope”


“This is Odessa. Things like this don’t happen in Odessa.” So people say.

Ted Elmore, Southern Baptists of Texas Convention prayer strategist, heard the statement repeatedly after arriving in Odessa on Sun., Sept. 1. Two SBTC Disaster Relief chaplains, Wayne Barber and Wade Taylor, also came to minister to the West Texas community still reeling from the Aug. 31 shootings which claimed seven lives and resulted in the death of the shooter.

Sunday morning, Sept. 1, Odessa churches were filled with those seeking to understand.

Members of Mission Dorado Baptist Church, within sight of the Cinergy Odessa movie theater where the violent chase ended, were painting classroom walls Saturday afternoon when gunshots erupted nearby. The church went on lockdown for four hours.

Pastor Del Traffanstedt decided to start the Sunday morning service with a moment of prayer.

“This is Odessa, Texas. Things like this don’t happen here. This is small-town Texas,” Traffanstedt told the congregation. “The reality is, things like this happen all over planet Earth all the time.”

The pastor praised first responders: “All the processes worked like they were supposed to,” he said. “So now it’s just soul care.”

At First Baptist Church, Odessa, the church where victim Joe Griffith was active with his family, pastor Byron McWilliams discarded his planned Sunday sermon to speak instead on responding to the tragedy.

“[R]egardless of what took place yesterday, our God is still in control. And we can trust him for that,” McWilliams opened, before praying for the Griffith family, other victims and first responders.

“We can’t fix this on our own. Jesus is our only hope,” McWilliams said as he asked the congregation to turn to Romans 8:18 for a sermon that he said could have been entitled, “When Suffering Comes.”

“We’re a family,” McWilliams said, before addressing from Scripture the two questions prevalent in the face of tragedy: Where is God? What do we do now?

We must look at suffering from God’s perspective, McWilliams said, explaining that Romans 8:18 reminds us that the apostle Paul suffered greatly and that at the tomb of Lazarus, “Jesus wept” (John 11:35).

“Jesus understood the consequences of fallen mankind better than anyone,” McWilliams said. “He knew the depths of total depravity of man,” something that in Odessa was “on display” during the shooting rampage.

“Jesus knew he was the only solution to redeem that pain,” McWilliams said, summarizing God’s perspective on suffering.

Suffering is also “unavoidable in this life,” the pastor continued. “But God’s got a better plan,” he urged, referencing 1 Cor. 13:12 and emphasizing the need, from Isa. 41:10, to pray for courage.

Finally, “when suffering comes, we must trust that the future God has prepared for us is infinitely beyond our imagination,” McWilliams said, adding that the day of the shootings, though “miserably hard,” was also “Joe Griffith’s best day because he stepped into the presence of almighty God and he is in heaven right now.”

The “ultimate answer to broken humanity” is Jesus, McWilliams continued. “Every single one of [is] a death waiting to happen …. Jesus is the only answer there is. He’s it. He’s the only answer we need.”

Still, Odessa mourns.

More than 1,000 gathered Sunday night, Sept. 1, at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, clad in “PermianBasinStrong” shirts and clutching yellow roses and lilies, news outlets reported.

A makeshift victims’ memorial at Sam Houston and 2ndStreet continues to grow.

While in Odessa, Elmore and the chaplains contacted churches to offer assistance. Elmore also spoke with Red Cross officials. Counseling is ongoing in schools, he said. The SBTC stands ready to help.

Jim Richards, SBTC executive director, came to Odessa on Fri., Sept. 6, where he attended both Griffith’s funeral at First Baptist and a previously scheduled SBTC pastor-church relations event, a pastor-wife “date night” designed to encourage area pastors and spouses and held at Midland’s Alamo Heights Baptist Church.

After the funeral, Richards said of the week’s events, ‘The heartbreaking tragedy that struck Midland-Odessa is already being overcome by the power of Jesus’ resurrection. Even in the face of evil and death, we can have the confidence that we are not victims but ultimately victors because of Jesus.’

Robert Murphy, Alamo Heights pastor, called the spouses event well-attended, timely and “a real blessing,” with Richards’ presence and message, as well as the participation of the SBTC’s Tony Wolfe, Doug Hixson, their wives and other staff.

The topic of the shootings did not dominate the evening, Murphy, who had recently visited El Paso on an SBTC vision tour, told the TEXAN.

People in the sister cities of Midland and Odessa have adopted a “good perspective” on the shootings, recognizing the “stark picture of what evil is,” Murphy said, adding, “We are going to press on.”

“There is grief for sure,” Elmore said, describing the city’s mood as different than the atmospheres of other places such as Sutherland Springs or El Paso. “There’s common grief, grief throughout the community, but a police action that results in a shooting has a different atmosphere than if someone goes in a place and starts shooting.”

Regardless, Elmore called for prayer.

“God does not cause evil,” he said. “Evil is here. God is using these [tragedies] to call the church to prayer. We’ve got to become a praying people. A proactive people,” he said.

The SBTC’s annual meeting in Odessa, Oct. 28-29, will include a special time of prayer for El Paso and Odessa.

—This article also contains reporting from the Dallas Morning News.

Your state convention helps churches reach your state and our world for Christ

My first international mission trip took place on a farm in central Kentucky.

As a new pastor in the community, I found myself interacting often with migrant workers from Central and South America. And I soon realized that most were spiritually lost. From conversations with farmers, I learned many of them were as concerned as I was about the eternal state of the souls of these (mostly) men who were so far away from their homes and families. As we began to pull together churches in our association and piece together a plan to begin a migrant ministry, we found an organization ready and eager to help us: our Baptist state convention. With the assistance of our state convention staff, we were soon seeing people from all over Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua come to Christ — though we never left Kentucky.

Ministries in our 41 Southern Baptist state conventions vary from state to state, but their mission is the same: help churches reach their state and our world for Christ. As we enter the fall of the year, most of our state conventions are promoting their annual state mission offering to support these vital ministries. My family will be giving to support the work in our state. As grateful and enthusiastic as I am for Southern Baptists’ support of international missions, I’m also thankful for and supportive of the ministry and mission work of our state conventions.

From my past experience as a pastor and state mission leader, I have seen firsthand the missional impact of state convention ministries. Where I served in Kentucky, more than 100 missionaries in the state receive varying levels of support for their work. Ministries to refugees, migrants, and ethnic minorities are often led or assisted by state convention team members and resources. State conventions help facilitate church planting, church strengthening and revitalization efforts, as well as provide evangelism training and coordinate Disaster Relief ministry. In many states, collegiate work is led by the state convention and support is also provided for the ministry of local Baptist associations.

One of our adopted daughters was rescued and kept safe by our state convention’s orphan and foster care ministry before she came into our family. The lives of unborn children are being saved by crisis pregnancy centers that are often funded, in part, by the state convention. Several state conventions are actively involved in lobbying efforts for legislation that will protect unborn children from the horror of abortion.

Many state conventions provide training and funding for prison ministries, through which inmates are hearing the gospel, trusting Christ, and being baptized by local churches. Women in the adult entertainment industry are being shown pathways to freedom and salvation, and churches are equipped for ministry to the homeless and those suffering addiction.

Across America, people are finding new life in Christ as churches work together through their state convention ministries. In addition to your church’s Cooperative Program support, your annual state mission offering isan opportunity for Great Commission and Great Commandment giving. Will you join my family and be a part of what God is doing through these ministries by giving through your state mission offering this year?

REVIEW: “You Are Here” provides an uplifting, overlooked story from 9/11

When terrorists attacked two cities and killed nearly 3,000 people in 2001, the world mourned.

But 1,460 miles away in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland, hope was shining bright.

Gander was the default destination for 38 planes and about 6,700 people travelling over the Atlantic Ocean when the United States closed its airspace on Sept. 11, 2001.

Those 6,700 people were heading to places like Denver and Disney World when their planes were told to make a sharp right and land in Gander, a North American city in Canada that is so far east that it’s closer to London, England than to St. Louis, Mo.

As one passenger later said: “I had never heard of Newfoundland.”

They were stranded in a place they didn’t want to be, far away from friends and family. Even worse, they were stuck in a town that — on first blush — wasn’t equipped to house and feed them. Gander’s population was about 9,000. Where were these 6,500 extra people supposed to go? 

But a strange thing happened. Over the course of the next five days, Gander’s citizens became the passengers’ friends and family. They opened their arms to cloth and feed 6,700 strangers, not knowing if a terrorist was hiding among them. 

Gander became a Canadian version of Mayberry, complete with a friendly policeman, a kind mayor, and hundreds of volunteers who cooked meals, found them a bed and even gave these stranded strangers a tour of the scenic island.

Next Wednesday, a documentary about this unique week — You Are Here— lands in cinemas. It includes interviews with crew members, passengers, citizens and city officials who saw their lives changed — for the better — during a period most of us were despondent. It will be shown for only one night.

“We saw [6,700] people who needed food. They needed clothing. They needed shelter. But most of all, they needed love,” the mayor says in the film. “We showed them that human kindness will outdo hatred any day.”

You Are Hereis a feel-good film that will give you the hope-filled emotions of a Hallmark film — yes, there’s a surprising love story in it — and the down-home nostalgia of The Andy Griffith Show. We learn how the Salvation Army pitched in to help. We discover how a Baptist pastor used a Bible to communicate with Russians. Most of all, we watch ordinary people do seemingly extraordinary things, taking care of people round-the-clock. When the week ended — most passengers were in Gander for five days — many were sad they were leaving.  

Home videos from the week bring the story to life, as do clips from a local TV channel. That channel was closely monitored by citizens throughout the week to learn what was needed.   

“You asked for moose [on the show], you got 20 pounds of moose from 15 different people,” the host says, reflecting on that week.

Because the passengers were prohibited from taking their luggage off the planes, they needed clothes, too. Ganderites filled in that gap, as well.

You Are Hereisn’t a faith-based film, but it nevertheless serves as an example of the love in action God commanded of the church: “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers …” (Hebrews 13:2).

The story is so uplifting that it inspired books and a Broadway musical.

“In [those] five days we became very close to those people,” the mayor says. “… [O]n the fifth day, we lost 6,700 family members.”


You Are Hereis unrated but should be treated like a PG film. It contains minor language (one “living h-ll” and about five OMGs — some heard from the day of the attack) and discussion of the terrorist attack (a first responder says he saw body parts on the ground outside the World Trade Center). Among the passengers interviewed are two gay men who were a couple on the day of the attack. We also see people drink alcohol.

Discussion Questions

1. How would you react if 6,700 strangers landed in your city, needing food and clothing?

2. What can the passengers teach us about contentment?

3. What can the citizens of Gander teach us about how the church should welcome strangers?

BAPTISM SUNDAY: Pastors, teachers & baptism

O’FALLON, Ill. — I was the girl who had trusted Christ but was baptized before my salvation experience. As a young adult, I heard a message on baptism and for the first time truly understood the answer to the questions of “Why should we be baptized?” and “When should we be baptized?”

My heart was stirred and I felt an urgency in seeing it accomplished, so I was baptized shortly thereafter. The Holy Spirit did His work, as the pastor was simply obedient to present the message clearly.

When I counsel a child, often the statement I hear is “I want to be baptized,” not “I want to trust Christ as my Savior.”

Careful to explain what baptism is and the reason for this simple act of obedience, I am given the opportunity to share the Gospel with them. Sometimes I am privileged to lead them in a prayer of salvation, while other times I trust the Holy Spirit to plant a seed of faith in their young hearts.

Whether it’s a child who is understanding baptism for the first time, a teen who made a commitment at a youth event but never obeyed the Lord in baptism, or an adult who has their baptism out of order, often the catalyst that God uses is a faithful pastor or teacher who reminds them that when the Holy Spirit stirs their heart toward obedience, now is the time to obey, not later. Postponed obedience is not obedience at all and can be a stumbling block to spiritual growth.

When Jesus showed up at the pool of Bethesda in John 5, He saw more than just a crowd of needy people. He saw a particular man who had no hope of healing. Watching as others were healed by stepping into the water that had been stirred up by an angel, this man knew that his only hope was for someone to come along and help him.

Then Jesus walked into the middle of this multitude, verse 3 says, and had compassion on a man who had been sick for 38 years. Jesus looked to this man that He could heal without a word, but instead called him to an act of obedience — “Get up.” Choosing to obey, his life was changed forever.

Pastor, maybe you are the one who needs to stir up the water. Some are blind to the truth about baptism. Others may just be paralyzed by fear or pride. It’s not your job to convict or convince someone of their need for baptism — the Holy Spirit does that; it is your opportunity to shed light on a subject that just might bring hope to a believer who is struggling to take this next step in their Christian walk.

The miracle here, of course, is not just that the man was healed physically. Not even knowing who it was that healed him, the man went to the temple, possibly searching for answers. Maybe he went there to worship God and give thanks for his healing. Maybe he hadn’t been to the temple in years — or ever. Jesus found the man there and revealed Himself to him. The point is: The same man who needed to be healed was found once more because Jesus knew this man needed more than physical healing — he needed to take the next step in obedience.

Baptism is that next step that many in your pews need to take, so don’t forget that Sunday, Sept. 8 is Baptism Sunday.

ACP participation helps SBTC, SBC tell the story of God at work in Texas

You can’t know where you’re going until you know where you are currently. That’s true as an individual, as a church, and as a state convention. That’s why it’s important that your church participates in the Annual Church Profile (ACP).

“ACP reports help us celebrate wins together through baptism and church attendance stats,” said Tony Wolfe, the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC) Pastor/Church Relations director. “They help us evaluate geographic and generational areas of needed improvement every year, and they kind of pull our focus back toward what’s really important in our cooperative work. In a nutshell, the ACP enables us to tell the story of what God’s up to in the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.”

But last year only 53 percent of SBTC churches participated in the Annual Church Profile. That means the SBTC and the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) can only tell part of the story of what God is doing through Texas Southern Baptist churches.  

While the ACP has been a part of Southern Baptist life for decades, it’s never been so easy for churches to participate. Through the SBTC, you can submit your ACP information on the convention’s online church portal.

“When your church reports ACP data through us, we share it with the SBC and with associational DOM’s upon their request,” Wolfe wrote in an article on the topic last year for the TEXAN. “This means that if you use our system, you only have to report one time. And we work very hard to make that one time as simple as possible.”

Noting the national discussion among Southern Baptists on the recent decrease in baptisms and other significant metrics, Wolfe says more churches participating could mean the SBC and SBTC could share a different narrative with the world. While some churches believe their totals are too small to make a difference, Wolfe pushes back on that response.

“I know numbers don’t tell the whole story, but they do tell part of the story,” Wolfe said. “Every number represents a soul saved, a worshiper faithfully engaged or a dollar sacrificially given to kingdom work. The threshold for celebrating the work of God in a local congregation is just one, just one baptism, just $1. There are no numbers too large or too small to report because there are no churches too large or too small to matter to God.”

Churches with specific questions about the ACP can contact the Pastor/Church Relations office at the SBTC. The ACP tool allows convention leaders to evaluate current ministry strategies and better develop plans for the future. It also helps associational missions strategists and convention staff to evaluate areas where Southern Baptist witness needs to be more effective.
“We believe that God is doing some amazing things in the Southern Baptist churches across the Lone Star State,” Wolfe added. “We consider it our great honor to tell your story to the world as God’s gospel movement passes through our generation, but we can’t celebrate what we don’t know.”

To submit your church’s ACP information, log in to the Church Portal at the SBTC website.

El Paso area schools respond to students” fears after Walmart shootings

EL PASO – The morning of the mass shootings at an El Paso Walmart, Immanuel Christian School was having a workday for teachers and church members to prepare the grounds for the start of school.

Immanuel Christian, a ministry of Immanuel Baptist Church, is but a 2-minute walk from the El Paso Walmart where 22 were slain Aug. 3 by a lone gunman.

“That’s our Walmart. It is always busy,” Immanuel pastor J.C. Rico told the TEXAN.  “Anyone [at the workday] could have said, ‘We need paper bags. We need to run to Walmart.’”

They didn’t.

In fact, unbeknownst to those at the clean-up day, the shootings were occurring about the same time the teachers and church members finished their tasks and gathered together outside in the hot, El Paso mid-morning sun, to pray.

“We were praying in the schoolyard at the same time the shooting was happening. We had no idea,” Immanuel 7-10 grade Bible teacher Eva Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez headed for the Cielo Vista Walmart after she finished up at school that morning, only to change her mind and drive to a Walmart nearer her home instead. While in that Walmart, she received a call from her husband, an El Paso policeman, warning her about the active shooter.

 An Immanuel preschool teacher was actually in the Cielo Vista Walmart parking lot as people fled the store in panic. The school’s athletic director had been there 40 minutes prior to the shootings. Others were at the Sam’s Club next door.

The uncle of an Immanuel senior, German-born Alexander Hoffman, a citizen of Juarez, was among the victims.

Usually the start of school means shopping for supplies or finishing summer reading or acquiring new uniforms and shoes.

The first day of school for many public and private schools in El Paso, was not what anyone expected.

For Immanuel Christian, the return of its 455 students to school Aug. 12 meant extra security and lockdown training its staff and teachers the week before, reassuring meetings with parents, and the presence of counselors, including Southern Baptist of Texas Convention Disaster Relief chaplains, for children and families.

“We have had security in the past and safety protocols in the past, but it’s really brought things close to home,” John Davis, Immanuel head of school, told the TEXAN, explaining that in addition to the measures already in place such as automatic locks and limited points of entry, the school added armed security officers — off-duty El Paso policemen — this year.

Families were asked to contribute toward the unexpected, non-budgeted expense and many have, Davis said.

Hector Vasquez, an El Paso policeman who was one of the first responders to the Walmart Aug. 3, is among the new security guards at Immanuel. He is grateful for the opportunity to be at the school.

“I like it. I am interacting with the kids a lot. I think it’s good. It helps out. Out there when I am working, I don’t get a lot of time to do community policing. Here I get a lot of time to do that, I actually interact with the kids and show them, hey, police aren’t bad. We are here to help out,” Vasquez said.

Davis said he believes it’s a great witness to the community and officers.

“The kids have responded really well. And having the officers here engaging with the kids, that’s been a great thing for our kids and for the officers, too,” Davis said. “The El Paso police department said this is one place where [their] officers want to be, because our kids are so respectful and engaging.”

By the time school began, the students seemed mostly back to normal, Gutierrez said, although some parents reported their kids were having trouble sleeping or being upset earlier.

Gutierrez took special steps to reassure her Bible students. “We start every single class with a devotional and prayer time,” she said. She said she now intentionally plays Christian songs encouraging letting go of fear and giving it to God. And with each day’s prayer requests, her Bible classes also pray for protection and a safe day.

“They hear that the Lord is with us in our fear. And they are hearing that we are praying that God keeps us safe,” Gutierrez said.

Unfortunately, the world has changed, she added. “It’s not ifsomeone comes, it’s whensomeone comes. But we can’t live our lives in fear. We just have to trust in the Lord and keep going and be there for each other.”

El Paso area public schools also increased security and provided additional counselors for their students. reported that extra security guards and counselors were sent to Horizon High School, the school attended by the youngest victim, Javier Amir Rodriguez. Socorro ISD also increased security and had counselors meet with each classroom to check on students. Teachers received tips on how to spot signs of trauma and grief, and were offered their own mental health services.

In a video statement released by El Paso ISD prior to the start of school, superintendent Juan Cabrera reassured parents that the district’s schools are “safe learning environments,” calling the security of students and employees, “our top priority.”

“We continue to offer monitoring and patrolling by our team of police officers who work 24 hours a day and seven days a week to keep our students safe,” Cabrera said.

Manuel Castruita, head of EPISD’s counseling and advising department, told that during the week of professional development prior to the start of school, teachers talked through what happened and brainstormed ways to help students.

“Having a week in between before the start of the school has really helped us,” Castruita said, noting that some administrators planned to hold moments of silence for the victims the first day of school, striking a “delicate balance” of acknowledging what happened without “re-traumatizing” students.

Castruita said the district also has strong support services, thanks to partnerships with outside organizations and a number of licensed professional counselors.

EPISD’s job, Cabrera said, is “to make sure [students] are safe, happy, sound mentally and physically, and to make sure they’re prepared for learning,” which may mean discussing the shooting.

“The worst thing we can do is not let them speak or not let them talk about what’s going on,” he added.

SBTC DR teams, equipment arrive in Florida, stage in Pensacola to serve in Dorian”s wake

PENSACOLA  Southern Baptists of Texas Convention Disaster Relief feeding, shower, laundry and support teams and equipment mobilized and began leaving for Florida on Mon., Sept. 2. Teams are staging in Pensacola to await further instructions as Dorian approaches the state and the eastern seaboard of the U.S.

Dorian made landfall as a category 5 hurricane on Grand Bahama Island Sunday night, Sept. 1, and stalled over the islands as a category 4 storm, claiming 5 lives in the Abaco Islands.

With wind gusts up to 140 mph, tides 10 to 15 feet above normal and flooding from up to 30 inches of rain, the storm is expected to continue to wreak havoc over Grand Bahama Island through much of Tues., Sept. 3, the National Hurricane Center said.

Among the SBTC DR units deployed to Florida was the new 10-person bunkhouse. Also on its first deployment is a laundry support unit from Clay Road Baptist in Houston. In addition to Clay Road Baptist, SBTC churches sending equipment and/or teams to Florida include Flint Baptist, Harmony Hill Baptist in Lufkin, Westside Baptist in Atlanta, FBC Linden and FBC Leonard.

“SBTC DR will be working with a tremendous team in Florida, with Florida Baptist Disaster Relief of the Florida Baptist Convention and Florida Emergency Management,” SBTC DR Director Scottie Stice told the TEXAN. “We are so grateful to be able to serve together to help the victims of Dorian.”